One of my regular milk/beef and egg customers from the city (Fargo, ND) is bringing 2-3 bee hives here this spring. I known nothing about bee keeping and neither do they. Will have soybeans on the south 80 and will doubtless need to spray them for aphids. Oats on the rest of the farm with some seeded into alfalfa. Also have some acres of CRP. Need advise on placement of the hives. Son and family's house is on the edge of the pasture and don't think that area would be such a good idea for hives. Have a wooded area NW of the house that is basically snow catch and wood lot along my driveway. Would that be a good spot or will I regret having bees 100-200 yards north of my house?
Congratulations! Bees are a wonderful addition to the farm. I've found that their presence causes me to see my farm in a new light, and to care for the land in a different way. Amazing that such tiny creatures hold such sway! :-) Your local beekeepers association will be a great resource for you, and may even offer beginner beekeeping classes. A good beginner's book is "Beekeeping for Dummies."
When concidering placement for your hives, look for a place with low traffic, away from areas that children or the family dog might frequent, or that requires frequent mowing. Under a deciduous tree is good, so it can provide the hive with shade in the summer and sun in the winter. 100-200 yards from your house is fine. Many folks in urban and suburban areas keep bees in their backyards. Good luck with your new venture!
I would be sure to keep the hive away from any fields that will be sprayed. I have my hives about 30 feet from my house. No problems at all. The girls are wonderful additions to the farm. Depending on where you live, putting the hives where they get some protection from winter winds is helpful. beekeeping is a great adventure! Michele
Post by justmentootsie on Apr 7, 2012 12:28:57 GMT -5
Hi, I don't know much about them either. I am just getting my packages this spring, but when I was in class we had a man come in to talk to us and he puts bees in field of the big farmer that has soybeans. He said that to get he best crop of soybeans off the field with bees is, putting a colorful bucket upside down on a fence post about every 20 rods or so in the field. The bees will only go into a field so far because they have nothing to tell them the way out. But by putting these markers (buckets) they will do the best job of pollinating.
We're getting our first hive too...can't wait! Not sure how you spray for aphids...or if you have an irrigation system. When/if we have to spray, we usually do it at night when the bees are in their hives (we rent at our cranberry bogs) to get the required contact time (6 hrs or so) and then run the sprinkler irrigation system to wash the chemical off before the bees come back out.
We have had the local bee guy have hives on our fields for the past few years. Canola is a bad thing for the hives, so if there is any grown around you, then while it blooms you will have to watch that the honey doesnt granulate. With the spraying, you will have to move them away from the area you are spraying, usuall about two weeks later (depending on your spray) you can move them back. Treed area is good for shade, but if it is a line of trees that creates a break in the land, they will not fly over it. Dont know where you are from, but bears can be an issue. If you have any bears around, a bit of electric fence around the hives with a solar panel works great. You want the hives (as stated above) where children and family pets wont get to it. If you have alot of alfalfa, when it is blooming, you may notice the bees get a little tempermental. The alfalfa will "hit" the bees. So when you have to check the hives when that is blooming, just pay extra attention.
Mother, wife, and farmer. Raising three girls, horses, a boxer, poultry, three Jerseys, a fold of Highlands and many more. Have a great day.
The wooded area on the west side of my driveway is natural vegetation. Not a planted tree row. Will be about 300 yards from the house. And a slough about 1/4 mile away. Should have shade and water enough??? No bears, but plenty of racoons and coyotes.
Also made maple syrup for the first time this spring. Poor year for sap running but enough to give it a try. Might just do more next year. It was fun.
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